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Adventure-cam maker GoPro plans IPO

The Silicon Valley company, which sells rugged cameras and lots of accessories to adventurous types, announces plans to go public.

The GoPro Hero 3
The GoPro Hero 3 and 3+.
Sarah Tews/CNET

GoPro is GoingPublic.

The San Mateo, Calif.-based company, which makes rugged videocameras that show the exploits of skiers, bikers, surfers, and even toddlers and dogs, said Friday that it's filed its initial paperwork to hold an initial public offering.

"The offering is expected to commence after the SEC completes the review process initiated by GoPro's confidential submission on Friday, February 7, 2014, of its draft registration statement," the company said. That confidentiality means it's not yet possible to pore through the company's financial results.

For decades, Japanese companies like Canon, Olympus, Pentax, and Nikon have dominated the camera market, with only modest adjustments as consumer electronics companies like Samsung and Sony arrived. But GoPro, something of an underdog, has found a strong niche in the market even as smartphones have steadily replaced cameras in many people's lives.

The GoPro cameras are compact, no-fuss devices that dispense with manual controls and other distractions. Instead, their primary virtue is that they fit in housings that can endure all manner of abuse and that can be clamped onto helmets, handlebars, surfboards, and more. That lets the extreme-sports athletes, real or aspiring, record and share their exploits.